Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

Janet Rapelye

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Relationships Between Admissions and Counselors

I hear mixed answers about the degree to which admissions officers are open to establishing relationships with college counselors. Some counselors at schools themselves, have such relationships, particularly if they have been on the job for a while and have had success previously with their students. Admissions officers live with the paperwork on their applicants and don't always have the time for such conversations. On the other hand, it is not appropriate for independent college counselors to call admissions offices and lobby on behalf of their students. That should be done only by the school's counselor and will be especially helpful if there is a new development (such as winning an award or being offered the lead in a school play).

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Relationships Lead to Better Understanding and Decisions

Obviously a piece of this question concerns how one defines relationship, but in my experience admissions officers are always open to getting to know counselors and their schools (not to mention the students) as well as they can so as to better inform their understanding of who the students are and what their records represent. Whether in their visits to schools or through the regular interactions at conferences , college fairs, and campus visits that are all a part of the job, the staffs on both side of the equation enjoy lots of contact that ultimately makes for better understanding and communication, and in turn, more informed admissions decisions.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Establishing relationships

In this world of admissions, it's all about making connections. The better the college counselor understands what a college is looking for, the easier it is to guide students to a best fit. Likewise, if admissions officers have a good understanding of the secondary school's profile, they can better evaluate an application for best fit. It is common practice for colleges to send reps to high schools to meet with students and their counselors. It is also typical for college counselors to tour schools to learn more about their campus. These relationships are all very ethical and appropriate as long as there is no expectation of special consideration being granted as a result.

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University


In admissions we often reach out to school and college counselors so that they may know our institution better. We want them to be able to recommend our school to their students. We often invite them to go on tours or host them for breakfast or coffee or training sessions on a variety of topics all to reach out to them.

Ed Garcia
Assistant Professor/Counselor Austin Community College

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

Most colleges and universities have an admissions and outreach staff that works on developing relationships with assigned schools in an assigned "territory." When I worked in admissions I was responsible for a certain geographical territory. My job was to establish relationships with the local high schools and community colleges in my territory. Admissions officers are very open to establishing relationships, and in fact, it makes it easier to get into the schools we serve if we have a point of contact. Some institutions establish great relationships were admissions officers come on a weekly, bi-weekly, or a monthly basis. If college counselors are looking to establish a relationship with a particular institution they should contact that institutions "Admissions and Outreach," "Recruitment," or another office with a similar name. This can help get the proverbial ball rolling, and help high school college counselors develop a solid working relationship. Some schools well have admissions counselors that only make a certain amount of visits due the the amount they have to travel. it is always worthwhile to contact the higher education institution.

Lisa Mauldin

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

I've worked as an admissions officer for a private liberal arts school, public/state community college, and public/state university for almost 20 years. I am definitely interested in establishing relationships with college counselors at the high schools where I'm recruiting. The counselors know their students, and therefore they can be the best source of information as to whether there might be students who are a match for my institution at their school. These counselors have become my extended network of educational colleagues and I really appreciate working closely with them and getting to know them.

Allen Regar

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

That depends on the admissions office, and how you define "relationship." As most juniors and seniors are aware, college admissions offices spend considerable time and money sending their admissions officers/representatives throughout the United States and abroad to meet with students and counselors to showcase their institutions. College Nights are increasingly popular, some with hundreds of colleges in attendance. Oftentimes, admissions officers have certain territories and stay within those territories for a number of years. It is next to impossible for admissions officers not to develop relationship with college counselors, by simple fact that they have regular contact with them. Most of these relationships are collegial but also professional, and can be of great benefit to both parties. Open communication about what the best college fit would be for any particular student is almost universally recognized as desirable. If a professional relationship between an admissions representative and a college counselor fosters this open communication, then all for the better. But it is important to understand that college admissions departments must also in some ways protect their admissions officers from what could become a flurry of telephone calls and emails from college counselors contacting them on behalf of their students. And thus, in addition to a professional, working relationship between admissions officers and college counselors, it is equally important for admissions officers to require a professional "distance" from the college counselors, as well.

Cara Ray
Senior Associate Montgomery Educational Consulting

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

Absolutely! Admissions officers know that college counselors are a key and influential factor in a high school student's decision of where they choose to apply to college and ultimately attend. Colleges want to establish relationships to hopefully boost their application numbers from particular schools and regions. While working in admissions our office would often invite college counselors to visit campus in hopes that they would return to their school or community and advocate for students to apply. Admissions officers are always happy to answer questions from college counselors about their campus, admissions process, financial aid, and about individual students they might have applying to their school.

Samantha Greenwood
Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Chatham University

Are admissions officers open to establishing relationships with college counselors?

Absolutely! These relationships are always mutually beneficial. If an admissions officer has a relationship with a college counselor, it's easier for the admissions officer to call and ask questions about the student, and vice versa. At the same time, it benefits the admissions officer to have a good working relationship with college counselors because if a student seems like a good fit for a university, the college counselor is more likely to recommend the university to the student. It's a win-win for everyone.